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Are you using furlough to plan your own business? You should be.

If you are reading this, there is a chance that you are one of the ten million people in the UK currently furloughed. But have you thought about what is really going to happen when the furlough scheme comes to an end?

Whilst we commonly refer to it as furlough, under the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme, workers placed on leave have been able to receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. But the scheme is set to end in October and that could mean a winter of discontent for many households across Britain.

So the question those on furlough should be asking is, should I be using this opportunity to start my own business? We look at five reasons why you should be using the downtime whilst furloughed to plan your own startup business.

1. Your job is not guaranteed after furlough ends

There is no getting away from this. When the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme comes to an end, there will be millions of redundancies. It is estimated that 1 in 10 will be hit with redundancy at the end of the furlough period. How safe is your job? In fact, how safe is the company you work for?. Most industries in the UK have taken a huge hit and in many, the furlough scheme is simply postponing the inevitable. You need to look no further than the tourism industry or your local high street.

2. There is no better time to follow your dreams

You have the time and if you are reading this, your mind is already half way there. Many of you would have dreamt of running our own business but life has gotten in the way. As of August 2, 2020, approximately 9.6 million jobs, from 1.2 million different employers are currently on the furlough scheme. That is a lot of downtime and the perfect time to follow your dreams. Why would you not utilise this moment in time to do what you really want to do?

Utilise your skills - There is no getting away from this. When the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme comes to an end, there will be millions of redundancies. It is estimated that 1 in 10 will be hit with redundancy at the end of the furlough period.

Can you turn a passion into a business post furlough?

3. Startup costs are at an all-time low

Starting up your first business in the middle of a downturn might sound crazy but there are plenty opportunities that you can use to your advantage. Many of the services and products that startups will often use such as website hosting, CRM and marketing automation tools have extended trials and sign-up discounts. You will also find negotiating prices and terms with suppliers easier. Read our guide to ‘looking for opportunities during the UK’s shutdown‘.

4. Being on furlough doesn’t stop the hustle

You should already know that you can work somewhere else if your contract with your current employer lets you. Getting a new job won’t affect your furlough pay. The same applies for starting a new business whilst on furlough. We recommend checking your individual contract but there are currently no laws or stipulations that stop you from putting on your entrepreneurial hat whilst on furlough.

5. You owe it to yourself and your future

More than anything, you owe it to yourself to try and launch your own business if you have not tried before. You’ll have more freedom and independence working for yourself after the furlough period has come to an end. Just remember, many business icons started with an idea and opportunity that has changed the world. From Disney to Zuckerberg, and Bezos to Gates, all of them had ideas they built an empire around. You are full of ideas. Now get them out of your head.

One month on from Black Pound Day, where is your startup?

27th June 2020 saw the launch of Black Pound Day in the UK. Picked up by a receptive audience on the back of #BlackLivesMatter news coverage, Black Pound Day created many talking points about black businesses in the UK. One of the talking points which resonated with me centered on black entrepreneurs and the perceived lack of support for black-owned businesses.

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Looking for startup opportunities during the UK’s Coronavirus shutdown

The great Albert Einstein once said ‘in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity‘. Aside from the tragic human consequences of the COVID19 coronavirus epidemic, the economic uncertainty it has sparked is likely to cost the global economy over £1 trillion this year alone. Companies of all sizes from the likes of Flybe and Laura Ashley to local retailers are facing difficult decisions regarding their survival.

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